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The Ultimate Values of Art Transcend the Individual and His Time* - A Most Illuminating Tale
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Robert Wells or Mr Waters
Date: 4.15 pm, Friday 20th February, 2009
Subject: The Ultimate Values of Art Transcend the Individual and His Time*
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This week I have mostly been pretending to be cultured.

On Saturday night I made my way to the Queen Elizabeth Hall, hallowed shoebox on the Southbank. However, I went to hear Bellowhead's Dirty Weekend. Lovely to see them performing stuff they weren't so sure of, to see them playing rather than performing. Included a choir (the residents, Pulse, who were just lovely and very good at keeping straight faces) and a couple of burlesquery type acts (an uninspiring stripper and a lovely little vignette). Everyone wore silly costumes for the second half. Notable songs included My Husband's Got No Courage in Him, an acoustic version of Maid of Australia, an odd version of the Handweaver and the Factory Maid and an old RAF tune called, I think, Follow the Band.

Sunday was Secret Cinema, a chance to witness some excellent cinematic treat in an unusual location. However, this turned out to be the British Premiere of Anvil: The Story of Anvil at the Shepard's Bush Empire, complete with a short set from the band. The film is brilliant, the band are very good at what they do. And they rock.

Tuesday saw me back at the QEH for a concert of Music and Chance recorded for BBC radio 3. It took as its centre piece Mozart's Dice Game and added variations on that theme along with a newly commissioned piece and a Stravinsky ballet. I like the Mozart, I loved Moz-Art A La Haydn, some of the commissioned piece (a game of musical consequences) was brilliant but some was pants, and I was fascinated by being able to see faces during In C. If anyone hears of this being broadcast can they let me know.

Wednesday I gamed at the ICA. I was a celebrity for the game Paparazzi being run by Kevan Davis. I got chased by photographers through central london and I ate a whole bag of carrots. I should have stayed longer, but I was exhausted. I owe people drinks. Barbican in March?

Then last night I went to Sadler's Wells to see a new opera. However, this was Skin Deep by David Sawer and Armando Iannucci performed by Opera North. As well as being Mental with a capital Mental, it was also rather bad. I found myself wondering why they had made it an opera and realised the only reason I could think of was that the audience might not realise how shonky the piece was from the point of view of construction, character, plot, dialogue... Brilliant final set with a giant pedal bin.

Tonight it's Stuckey and Murray. Ah, time to drop the pretense of culture.

*OED Bibliomancy attempt: Take the nearest copy of the OED (I only have the SOED here, but it seems to work fine). Open at a random page and point at a random place on the page. Then read on until you come to the next quotation. This is your fortune. In the above example pointing at Tansactivation led me to a quote for Transcend by H. Read.
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